CHICAGO – The fall season concludes this weekend when the University of Chicago women's soccer team plays at the NCAA Final Four in Salem, Va. The winter sports continue with women's basketball, men's basketball and wrestling all on tap.
The No. 11-ranked Maroons (18-3-1 record) make their return to the NCAA Final Four on Friday for the fourth time in school history. Their semifinal opponent will be No. 5-ranked Messiah College (21-2) at Kerr Stadium. The other semifinal features familiar University Athletic Association (UAA) foes with No. 8-ranked Washington University-St. Louis (17-2-3) taking on No. 23-ranked Brandeis University (16-3-4). The winners will advance to Saturday's national championship game at 5:30 PM (ET).
This is the 16th year that UChicago has played in the postseason tournament. The Maroons previously made the Final Four in 1996, 2003 and 2005. They finished as national runner-up in the 2003 season. So far this tournament, UChicago has outscored its opponents 12-2 over four games.
- DATE/TIME: Friday, Dec. 2 @ 5:00 PM (ET) – UChicago vs. Messiah (NCAA semifinal)
- LINKS: Preview / Live Stats / Live Video
- DATE/TIME: Saturday, Dec. 3 @ 5:30 PM (ET) – NCAA Division III Championship game
- LINKS: Preview / Live Video
UChicago (4-0 record) broke into this week's D3hoops.com national rankings, coming in at No. 25. In their first contest as a ranked team, the Maroons welcome No. 19-ranked Wheaton College (3-1) to the Ratner Athletics Center for a Wednesday night game. On Saturday afternoon, UChicago host Ohio Wesleyan University (2-2).
The Maroons have defeated their first four opponents this season by an average of 27 points per game. An efficient offense and dominating performances on the boards have helped spur the hot start. UChicago is shooting 49 percent from the field and pulling down 46.8 rebounds per game (+17.3 per contest).
The Maroons (4-1 record) are riding a four-game winning streak of their own. They have won each contest by double digits, with an average margin of +15.75 points. UChicago hosts Wheaton College (3-1) on Wednesday evening before heading out to Michigan for a Saturday afternoon game at Kalamazoo College (2-2).
Last weekend, the Maroons won their Holiday Tournament and senior forward Blaine Crawford was picked as Tournament MVP after averaging 19 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. His performance was also recognized with UAA Athlete of the Week honors on Monday. Senior forward Waller Perez was an All-Tournament selection as well after scoring 24.5 points per game.
UChicago returns from a two-week break this weekend with competition at the 12th-annual Milwaukee School of Engineering Invitational. Last year, the Maroons placed seventh of 11 teams at MSOE.
At the past two invitationals hosted by Trine University and Concordia (Wis.) University, the Maroons have captured a quartet of top-two finishes. Freshman Kyle Peisker won the 157-pound bracket and senior Michael Sepke was second at 165 pounds at Trine. Junior Nick Ferraro and sophomore Jason Lynch both reached the 174-pound final at Concordia (Wis.), but the bout was not wrestled as each participant was co-champion.
- DATE/TIME: Saturday, Dec. 3 @ 9:00 AM – UChicago at MSOE Invitational